New State and World Record Tiger Trout

Loon Lake - Loon Lake, WA (Stevens County)

Cathy Clegg of Colbert holds up her state and world record tiger trout she caught on Aug. 7 at Loon Lake in Stevens County.
Photo Credit: Photo courtesy of Cathy Clegg

by WA Department of Fish & Wildlife Staff

A northeast Washington family has quite the story about two tiger trout that broke records, not once, but twice in back-to-back summers.

Cathy Clegg routinely fishes off her family’s cabin dock in the summer along the shoreline of Loon Lake in Stevens County, and on Aug. 7, she hooked into something very big.

Clegg cast a gob of nightcrawlers into the 1,100-acre lake, like she’s done a thousand times before. Shortly thereafter, while playing with her granddaughter nearby, the rod arced in the dock’s pole holder — indicating something was tugging on the fishing line.

“I ran down, grabbed the pole out of the holder, and began to reel in the fish when it jumped completely out of the water like a salmon,” Clegg said. “Seeing it jump was very impressive. The fish ran out and back about four times, and it took about 10 minutes before my son (Caylun Peterson) managed to net the fish.”

“Caylun told me right away the tiger trout was bigger than his record fish from the previous year,” she said. “I was in total denial.”

Cathy and Caylun immediately iced the fish in a cooler and brought it to the Michlitch Spice Shop in Spokane, where an official scale verified the weight as 27.42 pounds. Clegg then took the fish to the WDFW Spokane regional office where Danny Garrett, a WDFW biologist, helped her with the paperwork and verification process.

The length of the new state and International Game Fish Association (IGFA) world record tiger trout is 35 1/2 inches long and a girth of 26 1/8 inches.

Ironically, on June 26, 2021, Caylun caught a state and IGFA world record tiger trout weighing 24.49 pounds off the same dock using a gob of nightcrawlers.

“It is an amazing story,” Garrett said. “We know there are other western region lakes stocked with tiger trout, but none have tiger trout this size.”

Tiger trout are a sterile cross between male brook and female brown trout. Since they’re a sterile fish, the one thing on their mind is to eat to their hearts content. Each fall about 10,000 fingerlings are planted in Loon Lake.

WDFW also stocks tiger trout in several dozen other lakes east of the Cascades in Chelan, Spokane, Okanogan, Stevens, and Pend Oreille counties.

During the past several years, Clegg says her son has caught tiger trout weighing 10 to 15 pounds, but they seem to keep growing and growing.

Clegg says her fish will be mounted and is awaiting pick up in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, from the family’s taxidermist who also has her son’s finished mount.

“Looks like we’re going to have two huge-mounted fish on display,” she said with a chuckle.

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